JacóCentral Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
The closest airport from Jacó is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Along the Autopista del Sol highway, Jaco Beach is only a quick and scenic 1 hour and 20 minute ride from the airport.
The safest and most worry free way to get to Jacó from the airport is booking a private van/airport transfer service to meet and greet you at the airport and bring you directly to your hotel or vacation rental condo/home in Jaco
There are hourly buses going to Jacó from the Coca Cola bus station in downtown San José. Fares are about US$7 each way however you must first find a bus near the airport to take you into downtown San José, which is 30 minutes in the opposite direction, then wait for the next bus to Jaco which is 2.5 hours by bus. While bus is cheaper, it's not worth the headaches and time it takes to get to Jacó by bus. Buses are very popular places for thieves and pickpockets to steal luggage and backpacks from unsuspecting tourists. You are always better off booking a private van/shuttle to get to Jaco Beach.
Make sure you stop at the bridge over the Tarcoles River along the way, a prime spot to observe wild crocodiles. It is illegal to feed the crocodiles as they are protected.
Transportation in and around Jacó is quite simple. The city is small enough, that walking from one end to the other is not an impossible feat. But when it's hot, or it's dark, there are always plenty of taxis to take you down the strip wherever you might want to go. The taxis in Jaco are red. Don't get in a taxi that does not look official. Often there are pirate taxis that are generally safe, but it's best to stick with the official companies. There's a taxi stand by the main grocery store, Mas por Menos, or you can always pick one up easily outside of Beatle Bar. All official taxis have meters and are clearly displayed. ₡1,500 (colones) is a standard price to go just about anywhere in the town, or to Herradura, unless it's a short distance and then it's usually ₡750. Ask a local if you are unsure of how much you should pay.
There are local buses that circulate from Herradura to Jacó every hour. The bus does not go through all of Jacó, it does not travel to the most Northern side, but it you can get off at any spot in central Jacó, along the strip. The main bus stop to go to Herradura is located across the street and down the road a short distance from the grocery store, Mas o Menos. There is a bus stop there, and usually a congregation of people waiting for the bus to come. If you take the bus from Herradura to Jacó you can pick it up at Herradura beach, at the crossways of the Costanera in Herradura, or down the road at the Herradura gas station, otherwise known as La Bomba. The Herradura/Jacó bus will take you to Central Jacó, and all the way to Herradura beach for less than it would cost to take a taxi.
At the north end of Jaco, across from the Best Western hotel, is the official bus station. If you want to take the bus from Jacó or Herradura to San José, this is where you need to go to buy tickets. There is a ticket window where you can purchase tickets, and it's recommended that you do so. Seats are assigned, but the Costa Ricans have no qualms about over-selling the bus. The trip from Jacó to San José generally takes 3-4 hours, and without a seat, you're forced to stand the entire, perilous trip, until someone gets off and there's an empty seat. This rarely happens. At this bus terminal you can also purchase tickets to other destinations such as Puntarenas and Quepos. Bus fare is inexpensive, and bus travel is always sure to be an adventure. If returning to San José by bus from Jacó, there are many places throughout Jaco that you can catch the bus: the bus terminal, of course, the bus stop in front of Mas o Menos, or various other locations along the Jacó strip. It's also possible to pick up the San Jose bus on the west side of the road at the crosswalk in Herradura. There are set times when the buses come and go, and for the most part they are usually on time. Be there a little early so you don't miss it. As always, be cautious with your belonging on the bus. There is storage underneath the bus for heavier and larger items, but people have been known to take suitcases and bags, from under the bus, that did not belong to them. Always keep an eye on your belongings inside the bus as well.
Mono AzulSloth rescue project, sponsored by Kids Saving the Rainforest.
Del Mar Surf CampSurf camp and yoga retreat owned and operated by local Costa Rican surfer, Maria Del Mar. Premiere and certified surf camp featuring surf lessons, surf coaching, surf tours, private surf lessons, family surf lessons day packages and surf camps including all inclusive surf packages, women's surf, and yoga camps, and surf and detox retreats. Locally certified Costa Rican school with ISA, CPR, first aid and water rescue with no more than two students per instructor.
HerraduraHerradura village offers a beautiful cove-style beach, that is often less crowded than the beach at Jaco. The beach was the site of the filming of the movie 1492, and one can tell why by its rustic beauty. As there are many rivers flowing into Herradura Bay, at times there are crocodiles that swim in the bay to feed. They are difficult to see, as a result of the black sand, so be very cautious when swimming there.
phone: +506 2643-4820address: Costanera Sur HwyAdventure park that offers ziplining in the canopy. The ropes course has 12 obstacles that include bridges, tire swing, tight walk, surfing in the air, cargo net and Tarzan swing. For the adventure type you can also rappel and do a free fall jump. Free walking trails offer great visibility.
- Costa Rica Fishing Experts with more than 40 fishing charter to rent you can be sure you get the best fishing deal from Los Sueños and Jaco Beach phone + (506) 8310-8393 Inshore Fishing, Nearshore Fishing, Offshore Fishing, and Deep Sea fishing adventures available for half or full day fishing.
Playa BlancaThe entrance to this beach is extremely difficult to find, and it's best to have a local point it out to you. The road is quite bumpy and filled with potholes, so go slowly and cautiously. Since all the other beaches in the Jaco area are made up of black sand (volcanic rock) Playa Blanca is a welcome change. This beach, also part of the Punta Leona Resort, is virtually closed off from the rest of the world. Although you can get there for free down the hidden road, you can also pay to use the beach through the Punta Leona Resort.
Playa HermosaConsidered one of the best surfing locations in the world, the beach is extremely dangerous. People die here every year, as they do in Jaco as well, and the riptides and large waves in Hermosa are notorious. Be extremely careful when swimming in Hermosa. The black sand at midday is scalding hot, and will burn your feet. But the beach is beautiful and uncrowded. Most people prefer to spend their time in Jacó, and Hermosa is largely ignored. A great place for a drink or a snack while in Hermosa is the Backyard Bar. In contrast to the rowdy bars of Jaco, this one has a very mellow, surfer vibe.
River TarcolesThe river is famous for one thing, its crocodiles. Park alongside the road and walk along the bridge to view the hundreds of crocodiles lying below. Many of the local resorts and hotels offer crocodile tours to Tarcoles where you can see the creatures up close. If that's a frightening idea, the view from the bridge is impressive enough.
Vista Guapa Surf CampStand up paddle and surf lessons for beginners and experienced surfers, individuals and groups. The camp has its own accommodation in comfortable air-con bungalows with great ocean views. Also offers adventure tours including mountain bike, yoga classes, and packages with trips to national parks. Run by Alvaro Solano, seven times national surf champion and current champion of the masters category.
phone: +506 2229 0013address: Calle Naciones Unidas #15Spanish language school that offers group, private, surf and special courses such as the "crash course" for travellers (1 to 5 days). The school also offers cultural activities and excursions during the week to practice Spanish.
Los Suenos Golf CourseResort golf course in the Marriott Los Suenos resort, Playa Herradura.
At nice place to sit and enjoy a coffee is Bohio Coffee on the main street.
Jacó RusticoOne of the best places in town for cheap local Costa Rica food. Generous portions and wide variety of fresh and delicious food served cafeteria style where you point to what you want then pick form a variety of beverages and pay at the end of the line. ₡3000 (US$5.75) gets you a big plate of delicious food with a drink. Very popular with locals and tourists and always busy.
Isaga Bar-RestaurantGreat seafood, steak, typical Casado dishes and great bocas (bocas are small portion appetizers). Perfect place to watch soccer games, have great food and cold beer and blend in with the locals. Very popular spot and usually pretty busy and bustling. Prices are low for the quality and generous portions. Bar Isaga is a must-try location for anyone's Jacó bucket list.
phone: +506 2643-2591Top-rated five-star dining and international cuisine owned and operated by gourmet American chef Richard Lemon and his wife Nelly. Fine dining and vast menu with outstanding seafood dishes, steak, poultry, pasta. US$15-18 per plate average. Full bar on site.
Sunrise BreakfastThe place for large American-style breakfast.
phone: +506 2643-3153
Tsunami SushiThe place for sushi, with daily deals. Wednesdays from 18:00-21:00. Half-off most of the sushi rolls on the menu.
phone: +506-8529-8969address: 150 m east of Pops Playa Jaco, inside Hotel Las OrquideasThis kosher restaurant in will ensure that you preserve Kashrut during your travels. Shabbat & holiday dinners.
phone: +506 2643-2961Non-smoking air-conditioned dining and drinking, and open air outdoor seating for smokers. Serving lunch and dinner from 11:00-23:00 Su-Th and 11:00–01:00 F-Sa, 365 days a year. Seven 42-inch plasma TVs, 3 projectors, 6 satellite feeds hosting every sporting event known. Over 45 local and imported beers, a full liquor bar, and some of the best food & service on the Pacific coast.
Cocal Hotel & CasinoWhere most of the city's working girls congregate and "party".
LeLoftThe official after-party place of Jaco Beach. Featuring the best music, DJs, and club scene in town. Bottle service reservations get the best tables. Very good vibe mixed crowd locals and tourists.
phone: +506 2643 1642address: Calle Bohio 50 Mts West (towards the beach) Jaco Costa Rica
Canciones del MarA wonderful place, with a decent swimming pool and spacious accommodations. Breakfast is served daily and you can enjoy beachfront views of the ocean while dining. Happy hour in the evenings and a courteous staff that will accommodate any needs. Be wary of your bill, the exchange rate may fluctuate accordingly. Overall, a great comfy place to stay.
De Haan HotelOne of the cheapest hotels/hostels in town. Dorms and rooms (with up to 6 beds, with private bathroom and hot shower!) Swimming pool, kitchen, 20 m from the beach.
Hotel DoceLunas of JacóDoceLunas has five acres of landscaped gardens and only 20 rooms. The hotel is at the base of a jungle-covered mountain and the canopy has been preserved through the hotel, so guests include kinkajou, coatimundi, arboreal anteaters and a wide variety of birds. The mountain and the trees shade the hotel and keep it cool. Every room has air-con and it is maintained frequently for fresh clean air. The hotel has a large pool with a sun moon mosaic design and a waterfall cave. Four-star amenities and service. DoceLunas is the second highest rated hotel in Jaco, second only to a budget hotel that is rated tops in Central America.
phone: +506 2643-3000
Morgans Cove Resort and Hard Rock CasinoAt this beachfront entertainment resort in the midst of exotic tropical fauna you can play among monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, toucans, macaws, and more while enjoying the two large swimming pools, 9km stretch of beach, and two large sport-fishing boats. The property also features the Hard Rock Costa Rica Casino with 12 beachfront rooms overlooking a pool, restaurant area, and a spectacular view of the beach.
phone: +506 2643-4062La Palmera Jacó is 90 minutes from the international Juan Santa Maria airport. This charming hotel offers 15 standard rooms.
phone: +506 2630-9000Travel and Leisure magazine calls the Los Suenos Marriott one of "the best in the world." This luxurious hotel features 6 restaurants and lounges. The spacious accommodations and unmatched service and amenities make the Los Suenos Marriott one of the top choices among Costa Rican hotels.
Villa CaletasGorgeous hotel perched on top of the mountain, and is reminiscent of traditional colonial style architecture. Go to the hotel right before sunset and sit in the amphitheatre, cliff side, for the most amazing sunset experience you'll ever have. Enjoy a delicious cocktail while you take in the breathtaking views.
phone: +506-2643-4056address: 150 Metros Este de Pops, Jaco Centro, 33345 Jacó, Costa RicaHotel Las Orquideas is a boutique kosher hotel open all year round. The hotel is located in the center of the beach and surfing town, Playa Jaco. minutes walk from the ocean and footsteps from the restaurants, nightlife and all the attractions that Jaco has to offer. Enjoy your stay at this new property that has been refurbished in 2017.
- National Park Manuel Antonio: There are many photo opportunities travelling south along the Costanera, and many secluded beaches. If you continue an hour south you will eventually come to the National Park, Manuel Antonio. It can be a bit confusing winding through the town of Quepos to get there, but simply follow the signs, or ask the locals for directions. Manuel Antonio boasts 6 or 7 secluded, white sand beaches. Be aware of the tide variations as they can change from season to season. Also be on the lookout for monkeys as Manuel Antonio is an excellent place to see them up close. Avoid feeding them, even though they're cute, as they come to depend on this food and risk danger by getting so close to humans.